The Kardashians might be the only reality television family that become MORE authentic in the spotlight. If you watch season one of Keeping Up With the Kardashians, you’ll notice a very fame-hungry family, but as time marches on, they seem to be settled in what’s become a platform to promote their brand. And speaking of brands, hearing that Tristan Thompson cheated on Khloe Kardashian just days before giving birth, certainly didn’t help promote a family unit. But leave it to Kim Kardashian to beautifully summarize the debacle, by simply saying, “It’s so f*cked up.” Watch below.
Kate Hudson is pregnant. Ok! Magazine
Jennie Garth is getting divorced. E! Online
RHOA’s Kenya Moore is pregnant. Radar Online
Seth Meyer’s wife gave birth in their apartment lobby. Dlisted
Mariah Carey revealed her Bipolar II diagnosis. Vulture
Jamie Lynn Spears welcomed her second child. MSNBC
Olivia Culpo is back on the market. Celebuzz
Brooke Burke and David Charvet are dunzo. TMZ
Hank Baskett is always open for a reconciliation with Kendra Wilkinson. Us Weekly
Karrueche Tran and Victor Cruz make a hot couple. Daily Mail
Jesse Williams’ (Grey’s Anatomy) estranged wife has A LOT of expenses. Cafe Mom
Jenna Dewan and Channing Tatum are amicably divorcing. Elle
Brad Pitt has a super hot teacher friend he swears he isn’t dating. Gossip Cop
Joanna Krupa is engaged 7 months after finalizing her divorce. Page Six
When Roseanne Barr visited Howard Stern to promote the revival of her hit series, she made it clear she was managing her expectations, as the television landscape has massively changed since her show first premiered. As it turns out, no such management was needed. The series garnered 18.2 million viewers, and judging from what I watched last night, it was deserved.
For starters, it’s important to note that the cast of Roseanne returned because the wanted to — not because they needed the work. The cast consists of the beloved John Goodman, who has banked some of the best roles we’ve seen to date, Emmy and Tony winner Laurie Metcalf, who recently earned an Oscar nomination for her performance in Lady Bird, and Sara Gilbert, who helped launch The Talk on CBS. As for Roseanne, she’s just as sharp as ever. Casting is an art form, and when you’ve got some of the best talent in the business who also have great chemistry, it makes sense to bring them back together for a reboot.
If you know me personally, then you’d know I prefer drama over comedy. You’d also know I loathe reboots, especially when they return with nothing new to say (sorry, Will & Grace). For Roseanne, though the show could have updated some of their more iconic elements so as to bring it current (that couch can’t be sanitary), that’s neither here nor there. This is a show for the middle class, and with Roseanne as an admitted Trump voter and her sister Jackie proudly toting her pussy hat, the rivalry is actually rooted in truth. Our country is divided, and the talented writers behind Roseanne figured out how to make light of it. And let us not forget Darlene, whose son wants to wear glittery pants to school over the objection of Grandpa Dan, who’s certain he’ll receive hurtful flack from his classmates. Insistent he should express himself the way he sees fit, what ensues is a powerful, topical conversation about bullying. As for Becky, she’s struggling to make ends meet with an odd surrogacy given her age, but hey, it managed to bridge the gap between the case of the two Beckys.
I loved every second of this premiere, and if Roseanne hadn’t blocked me on Twitter, I’d tell her myself.
We live in a new world, folks. And that world doesn’t include hitting on people who are simply trying to break into the industry. That world also doesn’t include double standards, so when Katy Perry uncomfortably flirts with eager American Idol contestants, it’s the same violation as if it was done by a man. What if Harry Connick Jr. used his post to playfully flirt with 19-year-old contestants? He wouldn’t get a pass, and Perry shouldn’t either. In fact, she even stole a first kiss from a non-consenting teenager (Benjamin Glaze) who later said the moment made him uncomfortable. Though he didn’t feel it rose to the level of harassment, that does not make it okay. Nor is it okay to suggest he should feel lucky for the kiss because of Katy’s star stature. Another contestant, named Trevor Holmes, lamented about making ends meet to support his family, only to be interrupted by Perry who exclaimed, “You’re so hot.” Imagine if a woman in a casting audition, who was trying to win a role, had the same demeaning interruption while others, who could come to her defense, sat there in silence. We don’t need to imagine it, because it’s been mentioned many times in the #MeToo movement.
It’s also worth noting that there was a time when American Idol was an unbeatable force in the industry. The show’s reign lasted far longer than expected, and its decline was due more to audience fatigue than content. But it’s important to remember exactly why the show was a success. Though Simon Cowell’s barbs were a consistent point of conversation, they represented more than schadenfreude or voyeuristic bullying. You see — Simon Cowell actually had a record label, and the man knew what made a star. Who could forget when he proudly predicted Carrie Underwood’s massive success extremely early in the game. Without an A&R person on the panel, the show loses it’s ever-present edge over its competitors. This is a show about making a star and to date, it’s the only show that has made a star. To make up for that absence by playing up Perry’s flirtation, is not only a dated ploy, it’s inappropriate.
I’ve been light on my posts lately, and it’s mostly because the barrage of #MeToo news has lessened my spirit, and this blog is largely aimed at lighthearted fun, or a tough take on the deserving ridiculousness of the industry. That being said, a recent interview with Barbra Streisand inspired some deep thoughts, and not the Jack Handy type.
While questioned about her own experience in the industry, Streisand made it clear she had not been subject to sexual harassment, and she blamed her looks for the sheer luck of it, saying, “I wasn’t like those pretty girls with those nice little noses. Maybe that’s why.” I must admit that I have also been fortunate enough to avoid the Hollywood wolves, and much like Streisand, I proudly never received plastic surgery for my schnoz. So could that be it? And if it is, is it worth mentioning? The short answer is no, and the mere suggestion that harassment and looks go hand-in-hand, leaves a bad taste in my mouth. In fact, Pamela Anderson recently put me off by saying that she too had avoided harassment, and it’s largely attributed to her smarts in never entering the lion’s den of dirty hotel rooms. You see — Anderson was shrewd — and others are . . . not? There’s a delicate dance here when discussing harassment, and though I don’t think Anderson intended to victim blame, it was a blunder worth noting. The polar opposite approach to explaining one’s experience (Pamela is hot but smart, and Streisand is no Pamela Anderson), is bad on both ends. Grey’s Anatomy showrunner Krista Vernoff explained this beautifully in an article for The Hollywood Reporter, and it’s worth the read.
While it might be true that we should take every precaution in avoiding assault, to suggest that looks have anything to do with it demeans the victims. Sure we shouldn’t leave our drink on an open bar in a busy night club, and I’d love to live in a world where I’m not concerned about that drink, but that’s simply not how it works. It would also be nice to exit my abode unlocked, or to leave something expensive in my car without fear of a break in, but we live in a world with rapists, thieves, murderers, and school shooters, so we should do everything in our power to stay safe. That includes dismantling the industry of the complicit players who built their client’s trust, only to send them into Harvey Weinstein’s hotel room with their guard down. I personally walk through life thinking everyone is a villain, which might be a better explanation for how I’ve never been harassed. But is that all-consuming fear a message we want to send our children? Probably not. To put it simply, when anyone is asked why they were not subject to sexual assault, the answer should be — “I got lucky.”
At just 32, Margaret “Maggie” Eckford or “Ruelle” has made some seriously good music, which most recently includes ‘Rival,’ an album that houses the track by the same name from the trailer. The show itself is based on the Pulitzer Prize winning book that traces the threat of Osama Bin Laden and Al-Qaeda in the late 1990s and how the rivalry between the FBI and CIA may have set the path for 9/11. It’s certainly no surprise that Ruelle’s music has made it to the screen considering its cinematic style. Some of her credits include, How to Get Away with Murder, The Leftovers, The Originals, Pretty Little Liars, and The Walking Dead. Listen below.
As we learned from yesterday’s post about Freya Ridings and an earlier interview I did with the very talented Aurora, television is often the perfect venue to highlight new artists. I’ll try to do this feature every week, and this week’s pick is Aron Wright, whom I discovered on Grey’s Anatomy. His soul-melting voice can also be heard on many other shows, including The Blacklist, The Vampire Diaries, and more. According to Wright, he records his music in a 100-year-old church he converted into a studio. His credits include co-writing the song “Hallelujah” by Panic! at the Disco and penning “Walk Out On Me,” which was performed by Courtney Love on the FOX television show, Empire. The multi-instrumentalist (trumpet, bass trombone, tuba and guitar) was born in Little Rock, AR, and raised in St. Louis, MO before eventually moving to South Africa. He now lives in Nashville. Listen below.
Television shows often have a limited music budget, which means they are forced to get creative when picking tracks. And it’s thanks to that creativity that I was introduced to the very beautiful song, “Lost Without You” by Freya Ridings, which was featured on TNT’s Good Behavior. This will be the third release from the 23-year-old Londoner, whose self-released singles have amassed millions of streams. Of the song, Ridings has said that she wanted to capture a heart-breaking moment from a train station that changed her life. The track was mixed by Tom Elmhirst (Adele, David Bowie, Amy Winehouse, Beck). Prior to “Lost Without You,” Ridings released “Blackout” and “Maps,” the latter of which is a cover of the popular Yeah, Yeah, Yeahs song. Listen to the stunning track below.